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Unit 18: Complementary Therapies

Unit code:

H/601/1635

QCF level:

Credit value: 15

Aim
The aim of this unit is to develop learners understanding of the role of complementary therapies in
health and social care and their effectiveness in maintaining health and wellbeing.

Unit abstract
The aim of this unit is to provide an understanding of the delivery and usage of a range of
complementary therapies and in particular to compare this to conventional medicine. Learners will
consider the principles behind complementary therapies commonly used in health and social care and
will assess the advantages and disadvantages associated with their use.
Learners will analyse the evidence for their benefits to health and wellbeing as well as identify
contraindications and health and safety issues in relation to their use. They will also evaluate the
effectiveness of regulations in place for different therapies and their practitioners.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a learner will:
1 Understand the principles behind complementary therapies and their current usage
2 Understand the role of complementary therapies in relation to orthodox treatments
3 Be able to analyse evidence for the efficacy of complementary therapies in sustaining health and
wellbeing
4 Be able to carry out an evaluation of the systems for regulating the use of complementary
therapies.

Unit content

Understand the principles behind complementary therapies and their current usage
Therapies: pharmaceutically mediated eg herbalism, homeopathy; physically mediated eg osteopathy,
chiropractic yoga, Alexander Technique; psychologically mediated eg counselling, psychotherapy,
hypnotherapy
Treatments: signs and symptoms; processes; frequency; dosage; equipment; materials; agents
Advantages and disadvantages: benefits claimed eg enhancing health, wellbeing; contraindications,
intrinsic harm

Access: physical access, financial, referral systems, cultural factors, private sector, public sector

Understand the role of complementary therapies in relation to orthodox treatments


Musculo-skeletal: bones, joints, muscles, mobility, pain
Metabolic: digestive and eliminatory processes, dermatological, endocrine functions, immune
function, reproductive function
Cardio-respiratory: pulmonary functioning, cardiovascular functioning
Psychological effects: mental health eg stress, depression; learning difficulties eg Attention- Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism
Attitudes: preferred therapies, barriers to use, value
Contraindications: comparison between orthodox treatment and complementary therapy treatments

Be able to analyse evidence for the efficacy of complementary therapies in sustaining health
and wellbeing
Sources of information: therapy practitioners, health professionals, commercial sources, science,
systematic research
Claims: benefits eg cure, amelioration, prevention of signs and symptoms, enhancement of wellbeing

Be able to carry out an evaluation of the systems for regulating the use of complementary
therapies
Regulation systems: legislation, code of practice, code of ethics, self regulation, complementary
therapy practitioner representative umbrella organisations
Effectiveness: minimising risk, benefits, professionalism, developing public understanding, working
with orthodox therapies, emerging trends

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria


Learning outcomes

Assessment criteria for pass

On successful completion of
this unit a learner will:

The learner can:

LO1 Understand the principles


behind complementary
therapies and their current
usage

1.1explain treatment processes for widely available


complementary therapies
1.2assess the advantages and disadvantages of the
complementary therapies
1.3analyse factors influencing access to complementary
therapies, both locally and nationwide

LO2 Understand the role of


complementary therapies in
relation to orthodox

2.1analyse the role of complementary therapies in relation


to orthodox treatments in the care of musculo-skeletal,
metabolic and cardio-respiratory needs

treatments

2.2evaluate attitudes towards complementary therapies


2.3assess the psychological effects of complementary
therapies
2.4compare the contra-indications between orthodox and
complementary therapies

LO3 Be able to analyse evidence


for the efficacy of
complementary therapies in
sustaining health and
wellbeing

3.1carry out an analysis of the reliability and validity of


information sources on complementary therapies
3.2evaluate evidence which claims the benefits of
complementary therapies
3.3make recommendations based on the evidence
gathered for the use of complementary therapies within
a specific group of users of health and social care
services

LO4 Be able to carry out an


evaluation of the systems for
regulating the use of
complementary therapies.

4.1evaluate the effectiveness of current regulation systems


for the use of complementary therapies
4.2make recommendations, supported by evidence, for
improving regulatory systems for the use of
complementary therapies.

Guidance

Links
This unit has links with, for example:

Unit 9: Empowering Users of Health and Social Care Services


Unit 12: Physiological Principles for Health and Social Care
Unit 16: Understanding Specific Needs in Health and Social Care.
This unit also has links with the National Occupational Standards in Health and Social Care.
See Annexe B for mapping.
There may also be links to relevant occupational standards for the practice of complementary
therapies.

Essential requirements
It is essential that learners have a good understanding of human physiology and a short overview of
this would be useful basis in delivering this unit. Learners also require a basic understanding of
treatment and care processes in orthodox medicine.
Learners will need to access a research facility with relevant academic and professional literature
which provides information on health care professionals and complementary therapies.

Employer engagement and vocational contexts

This unit would benefit from input from health or care professionals with experience in the use of
complementary therapy in health care. Contributions from experienced complementary therapy
practitioners would be a further advantage for the learner.